The public is invited to attend a kick-off event for the Regional Bicycle Plan on November 30th, from 1:00-2:30 PM at the Haywood Community College High Tech Center. Land-of- Sky Regional Council, in cooperation with the Southwestern Rural Planning Organization, is undertaking a two-year initiative starting in the fall of 2011 and continuing through June 2013. The study is funded by a grant from the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation of North Carolina Department of Transportation. The ultimate goal is to coordinate existing local bicycle plans while developing a regional action plan for seven counties; Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, Swain and Transylvania. Development of a comprehensive action plan will guide future local and regional transportation planning and investment.
The Regional Bicycle Plan will help Western North Carolina foster healthier communities, stronger local businesses, and commuter opportunities by promoting access to safe bicycling options. While bicycling currently accounts for a small share of commuter trips, it is a critical component of a multi-modal transportation system and can help provide more affordable transportation alternatives. Bicycling is accessible to a variety of age groups, and can be enjoyed by the young and the older community members alike, especially when safe facilities are available. Bicycling is important to the economic development goals of Western North Carolina—each year thousands of people visit the region and take part in bicycling activities such as the Blue Ridge Breakaway, or otherwise ride for recreation. For people who do not ride a bicycle, improving bicycle facilities means improved overall safety and decreased congestion on the road.
As a result of the initiative, the Regional Bike Plan will provide the vision and goals for regional bicycle infrastructure, analysis of current conditions, a map of prioritized regional corridors for bicycle improvements in the future, and a list of policy recommendations. The plan will also facilitate responsible use of available transportation funding to enhance prioritized corridors.
Location: Haywood Community College High Technology Center, 112 Industrial Park Drive, Waynesville, NC 28786 (Exit 104 off US 74, 5 minutes to I-40, 30 minutes to I-26)
10:30 AM Steering Committee Business Meeting, open to the public
12:30-1:00 PM light lunch will be served
1:00-2:30 PM: Kick-off Event, to include speakers and a public input session
http://www.fbrmpo.org/bike_and_ped/regional_bike_plan_2011-2013Read the full article